Supermarkets to stop selling factory farmed chicken

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The three largest supermarkets in the Netherlands - Albert Heijn, Jumbo and Lidl - will no longer be selling battery farm chicken from early this year, Wakker Dier announced in a press release on Monday. According to the animal rights organization, this means that nearly half of all Dutch poultry consumption will be battery farm chicken free.

"This is an important moment in the (anti-battery farm chicken, ed) campaign", Wakker Dier said. "It is not yet at the welfare level we want, but definitely a tipping point to dwell upon."

The three supermarket chains will be switching to so-called Better Chicken, a chicken breed with a healthier growth tempo than battery farm chicken and more space and time to grow. These chickens are less often crippled, are in less pain with foot ulcers and need less antibiotics. The chins set different welfare requirements for their new chicken, with Jumbo setting the highest standards.

According to Wakker Dier, this breed of chicken does not deserve the "Better Life" quality mark, but their well-being is significantly improved compared to battery farm chicken.

Albert Heijn and Lidl will have their stores battery farm chicken-free from January 1st. Jumbo will follow in the second week of February .The change only applies to fresh chicken.

Smaller supermarket chains are following Jumbo, Lidl, and Albert Heijn's lead. MCD and Boon's Markt will also replace their fresh battery farm chicken with Better Chicken, with the same health requirements as Jumbo, from the start of 2016. Most other supermarkets will follow later in the year. Nettorama is the only supermarket chain that has not given Wakker Dier their plans to change yet.